Newsletter #290

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Depression always sets in when we lose to a 3-0 scoreline. Comforting (?) to see that last Saturday we had once again the best attendance in the Nationwide and better than some of the teams in the coloured boot league. Couple of Why Blues; note a change of Norwich game time. Humour and some news on membership scheme. Future issue to Ashley please.

Next game, Ipswich Town away, Tuesday 22nd April 1997

KIERAN FIRED FOR SKIMMING FUNDS

Yes I have been turfed out stealing the millions from the MCIVTA coffers. Well not really… Ashley is back to his rôle of editor so please send next issue’s reports to him please. His address if you have forgotten is: mcivta@tollbar.u-net.com

Thanks for the chance to bore thousand+ people with my Man City opinions, pity it was not a time to crow with delight as we stormed back to the land of coloured boots but such is life.

Keep Blue, Kieran Daly (kdaly@proscon.com)

NOT A MATCH REPORT

An execrable afternoon at the Academy, for our first and last home game of the season; must make a memo to myself not to go to end of the season, pointless games against QPR. I can only assume that this performance was to remind us of just how bad we have been over the past year until the arrival of Frank; we, however, needed no reminding, and the game was a major disappointment – I was stupid enough to hope that after two games in which we had scored 3 goals, we might be in for a goal fest; however, the difference between the skills and commitment of QPR, and the likes of Grimbsy, WBA, Swindon and Oxford was made all too clear. Conclusion – a lot of work, and spending of money, for FC and his team over the summer, to get a squad together that can not only win promotion, but stay up after doing so.

Also – having shelled out £45 for 3 tickets in the upper tier of the Kippax, I was annoyed to find that my view of the middle portion of the pitch was obstructed by the barrier on the steps leading from the lower part to the upper part of the upper Kippax. Had we been warned, or had there been a reduction in the pricing, this would not have been too bad, but coupled with the fuel costs from and back to Bristol and an absolutely s***e performance, I am almost inclined to ask the club for a refund. Fat chance of success, I suspect.

As for the game, well Paul’s report on the home page sums it all up well. We were never in it, and I don’t think Tony Roberts had a shot to save in the whole game. I’d exempt a few players from oppobrium; McGoldrick hustled well and tried, mostly on his own, to get control of the midfield. Uwe tried his best with poor service, Baby Buzza tried to get us into the game in fits and starts, Margetson made one outstanding save, Gio was well shackled by Maddix – and if I were him, the thought of another season playing in this sort of game would be enough to send me off to pastures greener without a second thought.

All in all – garbage. Just not good enough, chaps, at any stage of the season.

Jeremy Poynton (jp@deadhead.geac.co.uk)

MEMBERSHIP SCHEME

Does anyone know what the ticket allocation per member is? I wish to get membership for next season, but it is unclear to me (maybe I am being thick here?) whether a single membership will suffice to get tickets for the three of us who make our occasional trips up to Maine Road, or whether I need to purchase a family membership to ensure I can always get at least three tickets.

Jeremy Poynton (jp@deadhead.geac.co.uk)

MATCH REPORT – ‘LIVE’

MANCHESTER CITY vs. QUEENS PARK RANGERS, Saturday 19th April 1997

This is probably going to be quite a cursory effort as all I can remember about this game is negative – from City’s point of view – and I can’t be bothered to write an extensive report in that tone.

The team news was that Brightwell had still retained his position at right back, but that Clough was out in favour of our playmaker – McGoldrick. The game started in a fairly open manner with both teams getting forward and creating a few openings. Indeed, City opened up QPR a couple of times, once when it seemed that Rösler must get on the end of a great cross but somehow it evaded his outstretched leg. Unfortunately, this rather bright opening degenerated as it became clear that QPR were fairly accomplished as a defensive outfit. They quickly had eleven men behind the ball and didn’t hesitate to push/shove and niggle at every available opportunity. They were ably aided by the referee who saw fit to let all this go for virtually the entire match, including numerous fouls on Kinkladze who was man-marked throughout. Half time saw the score at 0-0; about the only saving grace was that QPR looked about as likely to score as we did.

The second half was to get much worse unfortunately. The game continued in the same vein as the first half and turned – not for the first time – on a defensive error. QPR moved forward down our right hand side and played a ball to the touchline just inside our area; this didn’t look particularly threatening until Kernaghan saw fit to stand 4 yards away from John Spencer who was stood right inside the right hand side of the area. Spencer duly received the ball, and had plenty of time to cut inside Kernaghan and curl an excellent shot beyond Margetson, who had absolutely no chance. This at least shook the Blues up and they briefly began to go about the job of getting an equaliser. However, barely had they begun before QPR were 2 up! A punt out of the QPR defence looked to be covered by the City defence but somehow eluded Symons (I think) allowing Spencer to run at Margetson before again curling an excellent shot into the far corner.

City laboured away but got absolutely nowhere against a well-marshalled side, we didn’t make a single chance. QPR got a third through yet another defensive cock-up when Kernaghan inexplicably left a ball, allowing Slade to run in and score; Margetson just couldn’t believe that the label ‘defence’ applied to the shambles assembled before him.

This brought out the boo boys who elected to give Kernaghan a chorus everytime he touched the ball. This sort of behaviour is utterly pointless and elicited some vociferous opposition from the fans around us, including ‘The Beast’, whose last ‘near legendary’ outburst was directed at some Rags at the last derby. The boo-boy, seeing the size and colour of ‘The Beast’ prompty shut up! With 10 minutes to go, the ground was half empty (28,000 at the start) and made a strange sight. The season really seems to have gone on too long!

Final score: City 0 QPR 3

Overall, QPR showed us exactly why promotion the play-offs were a non-starter; firstly, we are not good enough, and secondly, we’d quickly be relegated if we got promotion. QPR made virtually no chances, basically all were gift-wrapped by our defence. However, they were very well organised and showed us what we are likely to get a taste of in the Premier. We’ll have to come up with better ideas – including how to exploit man-marking of Gio – and this will almost certainly mean better players. Having said that, it might have been a different story if the referee had sought to stamp out the almost continual pushing, shoving and pulling which QPR employed. Just about the only time he got his card out was to book a City player for putting in a hard challenge in retaliation.

Ashley

PLEASE DO NOT BOO

Frank Clark today (Monday) appealed to City fans not to target individual players for abuse, following jeers aimed at Alan Kernaghan on Saturday and Nigel Clough on Wednesday. Clark admitted that City played poorly but refused to pin the blame on individuals, saying: “It is disappointing when supporters turn on one player like that. By all means have a go at all of us – and by all of us I mean the players and the management. We accept our share of responsibility; it is our job to prepare them. We certainly do not expect to be applauded off when we have lost 3-0 at home and played poorly. I just find it disappointing that they choose to single out one player, who has given his best but made a mistake.”

Team news: Uwe R

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